Artem Lobov will return to the Octagon to take on Alex Caceres at UFC 223 on April 7, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York, and he recently admitted that his teammate and reigning UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor ‘might’ have influenced him being booked on the card.
UFC 223 is set to be headlined by a bout between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov for some form of the 155-pound title, and Lobov said the UFC may have thought about the fact that if “The Russian Hammer” was competing on the card, McGregor would likely be in attendance:
“I’d say they definitely might have thought about it,” Lobov told MMA Fighting. “It probably did (factor into the decision), and why not?
“They flew Conor out to see Aldo’s fight in Brazil before when he was defending his belt against Chad Mendes, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see history repeating itself in Brooklyn. I guess they did kind of think about that.”
Lobov, however, then confirmed that he’s not ‘concerned’ with why the UFC chose to book him on this card, but his focus is rather on performing well:
“I’m not too concerned about why they booked me, if I’m honest. I need to fight and I need to win. That’s my main focus now. Whether it’s in the UFC or elsewhere, you need to winning in this sport.”
Originally, rumors surfaced indicating that Lobov and Caceres would meet in London next month, but Lobov is content with fighting in Brooklyn, as it gives him the chance to ‘represent both Ireland and Russia’ in front of his fans:
“This is a great card,” Lobov said. “London would have been a good one as well with it being Paddy’s Day and London being so close to Dublin. I would have loved to be there, but this is just as good.
“The Irish and Russian communities are huge in New York, so this is truly one of the only places where I can fight in front of all of my fans. I really feel like I represent both Ireland and Russia when I fight, so this is a good opportunity to represent both nations.”
Do you expect McGregor to be in New York for UFC 223?